Saturday, December 1, 2018

Tales of the Traveling Tote #17

Rabbit, Rabbit!
It's December 1st. 
Welcome to 2018's latest edition of 
Tales of the Traveling Tote.

I'm thrilled to introduce our newest member,
Cherry Kay @ Entertaining Women
and her Courtly Check tote
Miss Carrie Ann Hall
(Carry and Haul)
How clever is that name?

Cherry Kay and I have been blogging friends for many years.
We are both proclaimed "disaholics" and share a love for
MacKenzie-Childs as well as for setting a pretty table.

 You might recall from previous adventures 
that the first Sunday of the month is
Burgers, Shakes, and Bubbles 
at a favorite local restaurant,
The Peached Tortilla.

Not to let a good opportunity pass us by, 
I grabbed Miz Checkers, and the Chef and I, 
along with our  neighbors and longtime friends, 
headed to The Peached Tortilla September 2nd for a 
Monster Cookie Mega Shake and one of their delicious burgers.
Miz Checkers proclaimed this is a great way to start the month!

Waco, Texas, home to the famous couple Chip and Joanna Gains,
is an easy drive north of Austin, so one September day, 
Miz Checkers and I decided to see what all the 
chatter is about Magnolia enterprise.

We started the morning off with a stop at Magnolia Table where
Breakfast is served daily and 
"where everyone has a seat at the table."
I ordered the French Toast Breakfast and admittedly took more than half of it to go. Delicious there and warmed up back in Austin!
Guess it's obvious that Miz Checkers fit right in!
Magnolia Table, Silos Bakery, The Market, The Warehouse, 
and the several "Magnolia Stay" properties have literly put Waco on the map. Thousands of visitor come from far and wide to experience the magic.This group of twelve ladies had come all the way from Illionois.  They were guests at one of the Magnolia properties, and were in town to experience the Texas hospitality that Waco, Texas has to offer.

After our delicious breakfast, we headed over to The Silos.
The Gains purchased the two city blocks marked by two 1950s silos that were once part of the Brazos Valley Cotton Oil Company.
Here they created a shopping complex that features a little something for everyone: a large green lawn popular with families for fun and games, a beautiful Market for all things for the home, a garden and garden shop, food trucks, and Silos Baking Co

We found it impossible to leave 
without something to take home.

Miz Checkers and I highly recommend a visit to 
Waco, City with a Soul.
For more details on this excursion, click here.

The QCI Annual Meeting was is held in Quimper, France this     September and marked the 20th Anniversary for this club.
The dates also correlated with my favorite French Antique Market, 
Foire de Chatou.
As they say, "Paris is Always a Good Idea!"

Miss Merri Mac is the perfect travel companion! 
 I've perfected my packing, getting all I need within a roll aboard.
I learned from a flight attendant to roll clothes to save space,
and learned from experience I just need the basics.

The flight was not without its challenges.  
Delayed two hours in Dallas, another 45 minute delay once landed
in Paris, missed my train connection to Quimper by 4 minutes,
waited in station 3+ hours for next train, arrived Quimper 10PM.
Travel is not always easy!

 Quimper known as the "cultural heart" of Brittany, 
is 350 miles northwest of Paris.  All things considered 
it is an easy 3.5 hour trip on the TGV.
Located at the confluence of three rivers, 
the Steir, the Odet, and the Jet,
the name Quimper comes from the Breton word kemper, which means "confluence".

The Cathedral of Saint Corentin of Quimper, Gothic in style,
was begun in1239 and features soaring twin spires.  

 The town of Quimper is full of charm!   
Footbridges lined with blooming flowers span the rivers, 
and the picturesque old town has wide cobbled pedestrian 
streets, half-timbered buildings with flower boxes, 
delightful shops, and an array of creperies. 

 The town of Quimper is also known for the 
quaint and beautiful pottery that is dear to my heart.  
First produced in the 1600s, pieces of Quimper faience are still being made and handpainted in Quimper today.

After a delightful few days in Quimper, Miss Merri Mac
 and I boarded the TGV for our return trip to Paris.

Oh, Paris!  
My all time favorite destination! 

 My time in Paris was limited, and I chose to spend it 
at a favorite antique market, Foire de Chatou.  
Held twice a year on the impressionists' island of Chatou along the banks of the Seine, this large outdoor market dates back to mediaeval times.  In addition to hundreds of exceptional antique and art dealers, Foire de Chatou offers a gastronome delight.

One entire alley is dedicated to dining.  
Oysters from Brittany and Normandy, fois gras and confits from the Gers, and hams and sausages from Corsica; the choice is yours.
Of course there is wine and champagne as well.  
As in typical French fashion, dining is indeed celebrated!

Dealers with beautiful wares, such as this booth of amazing copper offerings, are organized as alley ways within tents.  

 It truly is an antique shoppers paradise.

There is something for everyone!
I have shopped Chatou many times over the years, 
and it never disappoints.  This trip I was most restrained;
only a few small treasures that I could easily fit in Miss Merri Mac.

My treasures ~ five sterling and ivory baby teething rings 
that I purchased to repurpose as napkin rings.
The one above on the left is my own sterling teething ring.
You can read more about them on my post here.

Once back home, 
the fall was full of daily routines.

Miz Checkers and I voted.  

And on the first Sunday in November we went for 
Burgers, Shakes, and Bubbles!
This has been my favorite so far.
Gingerbread milkshake with vanilla frosting, sprinkles, 
ginger caramel, and a Fluff Meringue topper.

Be certain to visit all the other 
Traveling Totes at the links below.
We all love it when you leave a comment. 
Remember to be entered in the above giveaway, 
you must comment at Purple Chocolat Home.

Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Cherry Kay and Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women 

Also Joining

The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. How awesome that Miz Checkers has these wonderful excursions with you! The Gingerbread milkshake with ginger caramel has me drooling :-) Miss Aurora and I would like to visit
    Waco some day soon. But Paris is higher on the list! Wishing you, Monnie and Sadie a very Merry Christmas. xo

  2. Sarah, I would absolutely love traveling with you and Miss Merri Mac to that French market Foire de Chatou. You obviously have narrowed down the science of not only packing for travel, but where the best shopping would be! Waco is certainly a destination to be experienced, and I hope to go there sometime as well. I have a niece who lives there, and she has shared some similar images. The Gaines are truly brilliant with their passions and execution of their dreams.
    Love your travels and your photo journal. Oh, and those milkshakes! TDF!

  3. Oh Sarah, what a total delight. You have visited two places I've always wanted to see -- the Magnolia complex (the regional business bureau should give the Gainses an award for all they've done to bring in tourism) and Quimper. I love Quimper, even though I don't have a single piece! And Brittany is so lovely. (Bummer about the train!) And that market -- Chatou? I need to double check. That's on my someday-list. I never knew till now! It sounds like the most wonderful of excursions -- and you had a great traveling companion(s)!

  4. You've had a ball! Magnilia looks fab..Foire de Chatou encore PLUS! I had never heard of it..
    Love those shoes on The floor of Magnolia♥

    I know about travel:) And Brittany looks wonderful.

  5. I enjoyed my travels with you and your totes, Sarah. I haven't been to Magnolia yet. The town of Quimper looks so quaint and wonderful! How fabulous that you made that annual meeting, but I'm sorry about your travel woes. However, you made it, and that's what counts! Now about that Gingerbread milkshake...oh my, I'm drooling! Happy weekend, Sarah!

  6. oh Sarah, you are killing me with those milkshakes! What a fun monthly tradition, not to mention delicious! I know Waco was fabulous, I am constantly amazed at what Chip and Joanna have created! How she manages a new baby with her busy busy life is beyond me! And Paris, oh la la! You certainly are a travel expert, but those delays, not fun...that's why I'm not much of a traveler anymore, I just can't handle the hassles...but I love traveling with all the tote gals!! It's fun that we live all over the US! Emily has told me a bit about your Quimper group, another special group you both enjoy. I love what you did with the antique teething rings! Happy December!

  7. Dear Sarah, I have to to plan a trip to Waco and Magnolia Market. And, the restaurant certainly looks like a hit. You did have your share of delays on your Paris trip but as we know, France is worth it! I was a poor planer not to have worked the QCI trip into my plans, it slipped away. I have traveled to Quimper twice when I first stared my collection .I enjoyed traveling back with you through your photos. Have a wonderful December sweet friend.......

  8. Bonjour,

    Une bien jolie publication... Je me réjouis d'apercevoir des photos de Quimper que je connais bien. Mes enfants ont vécu un certain temps à Plouescat dans le Finistère Nord et lorsque je leur rendais visite, il m'arrivais souvent d'aller me promener à Quimper.

    Gros bisous à vous

  9. Waco and Magnolia Market are on my travel list for Texas along with Round Top.
    I loved hearing about Quimper and Foire de Chotou. You are a great travel guide. I should learn to pack like you do but haven't gotten there yet. I've been to Paris numerous times but never to an antique market. This one sounds wonderful for shopping as well as great food.
    That milkshake looks incredible! Thanks for a enjoyable post with you and Miz Checkers.

  10. Wow Sarah, you sure know how to travel. I want to sneak into your luggage, of course I would need to be shrunk and rolled up. What amazing adventures.France, Magnolia Market and more. Even the antique market sounds lovely. That milk shake must be so decadent. I can also taste it. I love hearing all about your adventures. Have the merriest Christmas and bright new Year.

  11. Sarah, a gingerbread milkshake...bliss! You have had a busy fall from Austin to Waco to Paris and Quimper, all sounds so wonderful. Paris is a a favorite destination anytime and visiting an antique market would be perfect. How I would love to visit Quimper! I so enjoyed reading and seeing your fall travels!

  12. Oh Sarah, you should have packed me up and taken me to Paris in Miss Merri Mac! You could consider me just a basic too! What a wonderful trip. Sorry it started out rough for you!
    Those shakes - I am swooning. What a fun place to go. I loved Waco too, it was sure fun to drive around and see how many more homes need to be redone.
    You sure had a fabulous fall!

  13. Your milk shake photos make me drool - they always look delish!! Oh how I would love to go to Paris! Lucky you! You have had a great fall and your tote is lucky to get to tag a long - any chance I could fit into that tote - LOL!!

  14. I'm glad to see that Miss Merry Mac did indeed make the trip to France. I can see that she indeed carried her weight. No wait! Weight? On second thought, you carried Miss Merry Mac's weight! I have Hal's mom's silver teething ring just like your new napkin rings...what a wonderful idea! It's delightful to be a part of the Traveling Tote crew. I so appreciate your kind welcome, dear friend. I look forward to many new adventures, both real and imagined. We'll tip our glasses to all things black and white checks. Cherry Kay

  15. I really want to visit Waco and the Silos, and then maybe Austin and the hill country. I need to visit Texas! I am so happy you had a nice time in Paris and Quimper. Wow, you saw so many beautiful things at the markets! I think the teething rings are so lovely. I've been so sad the past few days about Paris burning. You are fortunate you visited when you did!!! I can't wait to "meet" Cherry Kay! She seems like a lovely lady!

    Merry Christmas!

  16. What a fun post---from Waco to the antique teething rings, I really enjoyed this. Thanks so much for sharing!

  17. Dearest Sarah,
    Well, regardless of your delayed arrival it turned out to be a lovely trip to your beloved France.
    LOVE your repurposed silver and ivory teething rings as napkin ring holder! Did save that photo on my Pinterest TABLE SETTING & NAPKIN RINGS board.
    Sending you hugs from a rainy Georgia.

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  19. Hello, I am a big fan of Chip & Jo and would love to visit Magnolia Table and the Silos. The trip to France looks awesome too. The antique market looks like a fun time. The milk shake looks so delicious. I love that cute tote too. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and have a great new week!

  20. OMGOSH! What a fantastic trip you took with your sweet tote. Looks like you have had a ton of fun traveling with Ms MK. Would you say you have a checkered past? (none of the kids reading here will get that)
    I love your teething ring napkin holders. What a really cute idea. I gave my kids their silver teething rings-One daughter hangs hers on the Christmas tree every year.
    I too am down to traveling with one bag. No unnecessary 'extras' that I never wore/used anyway. (that plus my computer bag)

    Have a wonderful first week in December, Sarah- xo Diana

  21. I'd love to be tucked away in your bag to go with you! WOW! How fabulous your life is! Love the group photo of everyone! Happy holidays sweet lady!

  22. It’s MosaicMonday and a pleasure again...

    ...have a happy Monday! Indeed, Paris is always a good idea.

  23. Sarah - as I started reading this, I was deep in thought about Texas …. but now I feel like I have been on a whirlwind tour … fabulous, darling! Coincidentally, I have family in Austin, Texas, and a former au pair who lives outside of Paris. The world is indeed a small place! Thanks for taking all the Mosaic Monday readers along with you on this cosmopolitan tour!

  24. Waco and Paris! I don't think anyone would've thought that would make a great combination of a travel tale. I enjoyed seeing the sites in both cities. I love your first Sunday treats.

  25. Sarah,
    What fun you two must have had. That cookie milkshake is calling my name. Please stop by Over The Moon Linky party since you are being featured.


  26. Fun, fun, fun, Sarah! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

  27. Great photos!

    I bet I am pronouncing Quimper wrong in my head...

  28. Miz Checkers gets around and to some lovely destinations.


  29. Dear Sarah...In my next life, I want to come back as one of your MC Totes! Oh such fun you have!! I wanted to take a minute to with you and your handsome hubby a very Merry Christmas and Happy, healthy New Year! xx


Thank you to each of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and will respond to any questions. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.